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Guest Mikkiapolis

Stds of Care - hormone statement and the police?

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Guest Mikkiapolis

I was reading through the HBIGDA Standards of Care and ran across this:

Physicians should provide their patients with a brief written statement indicating that this person is under medical supervision which includes cross-sex hormone therapy. During the early phases of hormone treatment, the patient should be encouraged to carry this statement at all times to help prevent difficulties with the police.

Huh? The only thing I can think of here is one's appearance not matching the gender or photo on one's driver's license. I feel dumb asking, but what the heck is this talking about?

So my question to folks is: Am I missing something related to the police in the above excerpt? Oh, and why only "during the early phases of hormone treatment"?

_ _ _ _

I'm probably months away from hormones, but I'm already having to deal with not looking like my ID - thankfully it's got nothing to do with the police. I'm passably crossdressing in public often as I move further along my M2F journey.

True story: I called Costco (a warehouse store, upscale from Sam's Club) to talk about how I was concerned that I may not look like the photo on my membership card, yet I still wanted to be able to shop there. I outed myself to the customer service manager as transgendered, and she responded beautifully. "We want to ensure that your experience here is as comfortable as possible. Let's talk about the options we have." I was thrilled.

She suggested a new membership card without a photo, but that sometimes cashiers might request a different photo ID depending on payment method. Since my state ID won't be changing for years, that didn't seem to help much. Eventually we decided to have her add a note to my membership file (on the computer) that any manager at any store in the nation could access if there ever was an issue. Probably good enough.

Anyway, I was extremely happy with how it was handled. I also know that when we joined, Costco rated 100 (out of 100) in the HRC Buyer's Guide (ranking businesses on GLBT support). I see they're 90 this year. See how your favorite shopping places rate. Lots of other good resources on the HRC site.

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Carolyn Marie

Mostly the statement you referenced refers to the possible hassles of using the gender-appropriate restroom, and having some nosy Nelly question you. But it can also come in handy if you are presenting in your chosen gender but your ID doesn't match, such as when getting a traffic citation.

Such letters, frequently referred to as "carry letters," don't have any legal power, but they can be enough to sway an argument your way.

Honestly, though, I've reviewed tens of thousands of posts, and I can't recall anyone saying that they needed to show their carry letter to anyone. But it costs nothing, and gives many of us peace of mind.

Very cool about your Costco experience, hon. I found a similarly supportive and helpful customer service rep at my Costco, too.


Carolyn Marie

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Guest ~Brenda~

Your carry letter is very important. If one calls the police because you are in the womens bathroom , you have a legitimate explanation.

This is a very difficult time....


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The SOC that you refer to is version 5, and there are two versions since then. A Carry Letter was used in the SOC5 days because there were a lot of "False Personation Laws" on the books as late as 1998 when this was published, not to mention some piddly poo places where the police would arrest you for not looking like your drivers license if you were driving a car. http://www.lauras-pl...showtopic=37767 contains a link to SOC7, and Page 32 of the SOC7 does preserve the language about the letter, but says it is an option to consider. Most if not all of the false personation laws have gone the way of the Dodo Bird, but there is still the local police officer who is not the best trained social scientist and can have funny ideas.

I do have a piece of paper from my Health Care plan that notes the old diagnosis of GID on it, but I have never had to use it. Since your spouse is bird dogging you, the use of a carry letter for you may not be as important as it is for some people who go out with much courage and no sense about how they look and act. Its a bit of a worst case scenario thing, but has been useful. Like anyone else, our most likely run in with the local authorities will be for DUI or two legged manuvers under the influence of something other that our brains.

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Guest Mikkiapolis

Excellent information, thank you so much! I will update my bookmarks to make use of the latest version of the Stds of Care (SOC) document.

I asked my first TS therapist about a "carry letter" (I didn't know what it was called), and it seemed she didn't know what I was talking about. I thought that was odd, since she referred to the SOC at least once in our 3 sessions. I'll certainly ask my next/new therapist about it (intake in a week and a half).

I feel fortunate that my metropolitan area has improved the laws around these issues some time ago (one link), but I worry that different adjacent and nearby cities might have neanderthal ordinances that might be hard to find out about.

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